Zeppelin has earned an excellent reputation over the course of decades. Technical performance, pioneering spirit, quality, customer focus, and reliability have made us a leading company in our markets. Especially as a foundation company, Zeppelin is synonymous with top performance according to high standards.
The Code of Conduct: Business Ethics and Compliance delineates the ethical-legal framework within which we act. It defines the basic principles of our conduct within Zeppelin and in our relations with our partners and the public. It presents the principles of our corporate actions and expresses our corporate values.
Our staff members are the foundation for the success of the Zeppelin Group. To ensure that their strengths can fully develop, we create a work environment which expresses this appreciation and promotes integrity. We tolerate neither discrimination nor harassment. What counts for us are performance and conduct in the spirit of partnership, irrespective of age, gender, or origin. We judge the result of an individual’s work objectively, regardless of political commitment or involvement in a union, of religion, physical constitution, or sexual identity. For this reason we do not tolerate defamation, intimidation, threats, or assigning blame to others. Fairness, respect, team spirit, and open-mindedness mark our cooperation with superiors, colleagues, and other
employees. These principles also apply to our conduct toward external partners. We respect and promote employee rights and endeavor to deal with the labor representatives in a spirit of partnership and with the aim of finding solutions. We specifically promote cooperation between different divisions and countries. The decisive criteria for selecting and promoting our employees are the performance, ability to grow, and personal qualification of each individual. We are committed to a culture of learning where issue-related feedback is sought and appreciated by everyone concerned but personal attacks are rejected. Working at Zeppelin means having confidence in one’s own performance, treating others with esteem and respect, and being a model for others on account of the results of one’s work.
Zeppelin is committed to the common welfare and the idea of sustainability. These elementary principles mark our actions from ecological, social, and economic points of view. Our more than one-hundred-year history demonstrates that Zeppelin does not build on short-term success. We conduct business for the long haul and pay part of our profits to the Zeppelin Foundation of the City of Friedrichshafen, which is committed to education, research, cultural, and social affairs. Our self-image as a foundation business obligates our staff members to adhere to the objectives of sustainable business in their day-to-day work. Natural resources are to be protected, material is to be saved, and waste is to be reduced. To limit the consumption of raw materials and energy as well as emissions, sensible options for optimizing processes are exhausted. Our production plants are solely built and operated in accordance with regulatory provisions.
In addition to economic aspects, ecological and social criteria are also considered in the selection of our business partners. We do not accept as business partners those who violate environmental regula-tions, exploit employees, permit child labor, or move in legal gray areas. Zeppelin complies with the laws on safety at work and, together with its employees, endeavors to create a healthy and safe work environment. The health of our employees is of equal concern to each individual and the company. Experts in occupational health and safety support the management in preventing sickness and accidents. Adherence to the provisions regarding safety at work is mandatory. In this regard each employee shares the responsibility for safety in his or her area and the safety of his or her colleagues.
The material and intellectual property of Zeppelin must be protected against loss, theft, and misuse. The value of our company is based on the ideas and the inventiveness of the people who actively try to enhance the success of Zeppelin and have tried to do so in the past. Successful knowledge management has continued to create and passed on this value added from generation to generation. Inventions, patents, and other know-how are extraordinarily valuable in this respect, as are our trademarks. We protect these nonmaterial assets, as they are of considerable economic significance for the future of our company.
Company secrets and knowledge about future developments must not be revealed to third parties, let alone be published, without the approval of the legal department. All employees are called upon to protect data against unauthorized access by third parties and to avoid opportunities for them to access business
documents. IT safety, data security, and privacy are top priorities for us. We have created special areas of authority for these matters. We pledge to respect the material and intellectual properties of third parties and reject illegal ways of acquiring information. Company secrets include all information which is not publicly accessible but constitutes a great value for our company or its competitors, as well as any information which only the company possesses. Taking credit for others’ achievements is not in agreement with the Zeppelin culture. We do not work with knowledge which has already been fully explored and do not use any ideas which have not been developed on the basis of our own accomplishments and our own know-how. Observing the competition is necessary and desirable. We do not, however, collect confidential information from competitors or ask customers about it. Those who come into the possession of company secrets of other businesses in an illegal way have the obligation toward these companies to protect this information and not use so that it may profit us.
Our employees avoid any collision between their private interests and those of the company. We are not guided by private concerns or personal relation-ships in our decisions. Business relationships are based on price, quality, or an already existing, fair cooperation which has developed over the course of past collaborations. Relationships from which purely personal material or nonmaterial benefits are gained may have no impact on the signing of a contract or the continuation or termination of a business relationship. We reject any instance in which Zeppelin employees or their relatives establish a business relationship between Zeppelin and a supplier or service provider, whether directly or through third parties. As a matter of principle, every employee must
obtain the approval of his superior to begin additional employment — including on a freelance basis — or start his own entrepreneurial activities. This applies particularly to assuming positions in companies which have a business relationship with or which are competitors of Zeppelin. Zeppelin welcomes any volunteer commitment of its employees which is compatible with their obligations toward Zeppelin according to their employment contract. When expressing their private opinion in public, employees must not create the impression that they are voicing the opinion of the company. If an employee has an actual or potential conflict of interests, he must promptly advise his superior of this so the conflict can be jointly removed.
We make our decisions freely and independently, and without creating any dependencies. We will not accept preferred treatment by suppliers, service providers, or customers. When dealing with business partners, material or moral dependencies must not be a factor. We reject any “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” business policy. We accept invitations to events or business dinners by business partners only if they have a demonstrable business purpose and if the business partner or his representative is present. The invitation must
be appropriate to this business partner and may not go beyond common hospitality. The employee’s superior must be notified about invitations from business partners. Presents from business partners must be within the legal limits and appropriate in terms of type and extent.
Invitations from business partners to their events of a largely private character are permitted as approved exceptions if the major expenses of the event are born by Zeppelin or the employee himself or herself.
We conclude business deals only on account of the quality and performance of our products or services. Sales shall not be promoted by way of presents, donations, bribery, or corruption. The principles of honesty and integrity must be observed in all business and social activities. Relationship management is part of business success. It is conducted neither in legal gray areas nor with inadmissible means. Employees of Zeppelin do not accept, either directly or indirectly, bribery nor do they make any such offers themselves. Bribery is a criminal offense in business transactions as well as to office holders. When dealing with government offices or authorities, no payments or benefits are promised or granted in order to influence decisions by public servants or
other office holders in favor of Zeppelin. We do not make any presents for the purpose of inappropriately influencing our position in the market. We do not accept any presents which are meant to stimulate the award of contracts. Presents or benefits which may influence business decisions are impermissible and must neither be offered, granted, requested, nor accepted. This also applies if they may merely create the appearance of impropriety, and in particular to the initiation of contracts and the conclusion of business deals. Only the committees of the partners of the Zeppelin Group decide on donations and sponsorships which go beyond locally limited and temporary activities, as well as on minor donations. The same applies to politically motivated donations, contributions to political parties, and memberships in special-interest groups and associations.
Our partners rely on our always informing them truthfully about our business development, results, and outlook for our company. They include customers, business partners, banks, rating agencies, employees, financial authorities, as well as our shareholder. Correctness in our accounting, notes, and financial reporting is the yardstick of our credibility. False or incomplete reporting may create the appearance of financial irregularities, of deception, or of fraud. Internal control systems document crucial business transactions appropriately and ensure that information about business developments which are important for accounting are recorded completely and correctly. Keeping records and
documents so that they are complete, clear, and comprehensible is therefore a matter of course for us. Notes and files must be kept in such a way that auditors and financial authorities can comprehend their system and contents at any time. Our processes are so transparent and structured that other employees can always continue them. Legal or internal obligations to preserve records must be met. Documents which relate to procedures of authorities or courts of law must not be destroyed. Any documentation must be formally correct and its content consistent so that it may also be shown to third parties when required.
Transparent, prompt, and reliable internal as well as external communication is an important part of our corporate culture. The misinformation of employees and colleagues, the public, the market, and our customers is not acceptable to us. Customers should receive appropriate access to the information that is necessary for a sensible business decision. This may be achieved, for instance, by way of general written product information or through company representatives. Zeppelin takes customer complaints very seriously and processes them promptly and fairly. All information that is provided to the public is truthful. Flawless quality is our standard. Improper, ambiguous, incomplete, or ill-considered statements may be misinterpreted, misused, or taken out of
context, thus causing us considerable damage. For this reason communication via e-mail or the Internet must also be conducted correctly. As a matter of principle, information may be provided to the public only by staff members who are authorized to do so. Those who appear in public as representatives of Zeppelin without prior authorization must state clearly that they are acting as private individuals. When investigative authorities make inquiries, the legal department must be consulted immediately. The principle of truthful communication must also be adhered to toward employees and colleagues. We inform our staff comprehensively, regularly, and promptly about objectives, plans, and corporate data, and we make decisions transparent.
Zeppelin respects all national and international customs laws as well as export, antiterrorism, and embargo regulations. We support the endeavors of the international community to fight international terrorism as well as to prevent the production and distribution of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. All employees are obligated to adhere to the limitations and prohibitions of export and domestic trading with specific goods, technologies, and services. The trade
prohibitions and restrictions related to international embargoes and the international fight against terrorism, which may also affect capital and payment transactions, must be strictly observed. These also include the re-export provisions of other countries, such as the U.S.
If doubts as to whether the use or distribution of our products is permissible cannot be removed, the business transaction must be relinquished.
Zeppelin openly declares its belief in the market economy and promotes fair and free competition. Wherever Zeppelin is active, the company adheres to antitrust and trade laws, and to laws on pricing, competition, and consumer protection. We do not tolerate illegal agreements with competitors or any other breaches of competition laws. Even the appearance of improper agreements with other
market participants must be avoided. In cases of doubt about matters concerning competition law, the legal department must be consulted. Zeppelin wins over customers by presenting its own strengths rather than improving its position by degrading competitors. Information about customers and competitors is exclusively gained through generally accessible sources. We respect the innovative strength of our competitors.
We require all of our employees and managers to conduct themselves in a manner that complies with regulations and is ethically flawless in all business situations. Because violation of such values contradicts our own ethical standard and as such can endanger economic success and the safety of our employees, it is important that we identify possible misconduct at an early stage rather than turning a blind eye.
Each individual employee, as well as each of our business partners, can contribute to safeguarding the trust that we have accrued in our company journey. That means not only complying with regulations, but also promptly identifying violations, reporting them, and putting a stop to any compromising situations.
Zeppelin provides various confidential options for reporting: You can get in touch with our responsible Chief Compliance Officer Mr. Philip Wolters directly, as well as anonymously via the Zeppelin Trust Line whistleblower system, or by means of an external ombudsman.
Chief Compliance Officer (CCO)
85748 Garching near Munich
+49 89 32 000 637
SvS – Sidhu von Saucken Rechtsanwält
+49 89 242 11 67 27
Zeppelin Trust Line is the online whistleblower system for the Zeppelin Group. It is available to all employees, business partners, and customers. The system can be used for whistleblowing purposes; in other words, for submitting messages relating to serious breaches of our values, compliance specifications, and applicable law.
Zeppelin Trust Line functions as an electronic mailbox, via which reports can be made round the clock. The most important difference between the various contact options is that using Zeppelin Trust Line means that the whistleblower can be assured of anonymity. The electronic platform is hosted on an external server, so it is not possible to trace submitted information back to the source.
Zeppelin GmbH represents Zeppelin Group as a member of the Forum Compliance Mittelstand. Adhering to the company’s internal compliance rules is a binding requirement for all our employees. It is a vital part of ensuring our company’s long-term success and is a requirement in every business situation, which we aim to take into greater consideration and further develop as a member of the FCM.
The Forum Compliance Mittelstand (FCM) is a voluntary association of small- and mid-sized enterprises and associations that serves to promote and spread a value-driven way of doing business among companies of a similar size. The FCM takes the specific features of SMEs as a starting point and exploits the opportunity to develop and spread practically relevant solutions, concepts, and methods for SMEs. The FCM works at the intersection of business, ethics, and compliance, and fosters dialog between research and practice.
It organizes regular meetings for its members, where they discuss current issues and challenges as part of presentations and panel discussions. The ongoing aim of the FCM is to conduct research projects into compliance management for SMEs and in doing so to actively foster dialog between researchers and the world of business.
At Zeppelin, we are keen to use this as a chance to help set the benchmark for dealing with business ethics and compliance in German SMEs.